Federal Election 2021: Liberals hold onto minority government

Photography by Maija Schade

Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau continues on as prime minister after the Liberals formed their second minority government in the early hours of Sept. 21. All parties are expected to maintain approximately the same number of seats in the House of Commons.

Looking toward the Kitchener-Waterloo region, Mike Morrice won one of two seats in parliament for the Green Party in Kitchener-Centre, gaining 35 per cent of the vote at the time of publication. He makes history as the first Green Member of Parliament (MP) elected in Ontario. 

Morrice first ran in 2019, placing second, and has been campaigning hard since then. Morrice took the lead in the polls after Liberal incumbent Raj Saini dropped out of the race amid allegations he harassed a member of his staff

Morrice’s platform included special focus on housing affordability, long-term care and health care, mental health support, climate change, gender-based violence, Indigenous reconciliation and anti-Black racism.

Morrice founded Sustainable Waterloo Region, a non-profit that helps businesses improve in environmental and economic sustainability. He also works at Wilfrid Laurier University as a social entrepreneur in residence, providing support for student startups.

He is also a board member at Kitchener Housing Inc and Women’s Crisis Services of Waterloo Region, and previously worked with the Sanguen Health Centre, Kitchener Downtown Advisory Committee and Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church.

In the Waterloo riding, Bardish Chagger comfortably maintains her seat in parliament after gaining 44 per cent of the vote, and leading the Conservative Party candidate Meghan Shannon by approximately 9,000 votes. Chagger has worked as Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth since 2019, but will not speculate whether she will continue her mandate as a cabinet minister in the Trudeau government.

Minister Chagger once worked to foster diversity within the community and provide opportunities for social and economic engagement in the Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Centre. Chagger has also contributed to causes and organizations such as the Rotary Club of Waterloo, Interfaith Grand River, and the Workforce Planning Board of Waterloo Wellington Dufferin.

Chagger is an alumni of the University of Waterloo, having graduated with a bachelor’s of science degree.

In Kitchener-Conestoga, incumbent Liberal candidate Tim Louis was leading a tight race against Conservative candidate Carlene Hawley, gaining 39 per cent of the vote in comparison to her 38 per cent at the time of publication. Louis is a successful full-time professional musician and recording artist. As an MP, he sits on the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage and the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food. He is a member of the National, Ontario, Rural, and Women’s Liberal Caucuses, and is the Chair of Southwest Region Liberal Caucus.

A similar story unfolded in Kitchener South-Hespeler, where early morning on Sept. 21, Liberal candidate Valerie Bradford led with 37 per cent of the vote in comparison to Conservative candidate Tyler Calver’s 36 per cent.

Bradford has been dedicated to supporting small businesses and bringing jobs and investments to Waterloo Region as an economic development professional for the City of Kitchener. For the past eight years, she has served as the Chair of the Workforce Planning Board. She plans on contributing her expertise and skills toward the economic recovery from COVID-19. She is also particularly focused on increasing access to safe and affordable housing in her riding.